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Tai-Kadai Languages

(4,265 words)

Author(s): Yongxian LUO
The Tai-Kadai languages form one of the world’s major language families, as they are spoken by close to 100 million speakers (Diller et al. 2008). The language family extends over a vast linguistic area covering much of mainland Southeast Asia. Within China, Tai-Kadai speakers occupy an area adjacent to Southeast Asia extending eastwards to Hǎinán Island and Guǎngdōng Province and westwards to Déhóng 德宏 prefecture in Yúnnán province on the China-Burma border, northwards to Guìzhōu and the Yúnnán-Sìchuān border, and so…
Date: 2017-03-02

Sui Language

(3,158 words)

Author(s): Yongxian LUO
Sui (Shuǐyǔ 水語) is the language of the Sui people (Shuǐzú 水族) who reside in south China’s Guìzhōu and Guǎngxī Provinces, with a total population of over 400,000, according to the 2000 government census. Over 60% of Sui speakers are found in Guìzhōu, particularly in Sāndū Shuǐ Autonomous County 三都水族自治州 of Guìzhōu, the only Sui autonomous county in China, as well as in nearby counties of Lìbō 荔波, Dúshān 獨山, Píngtáng 平塘, Dūyún 都匀, Jiànhé 劍河, Róngjiāng 榕江, Cóngjiāng 從江, and Lípíng 黎平. About 10,000 S…
Date: 2017-03-02

Zhuàng 壯 Language

(3,839 words)

Author(s): Yongxian LUO
Zhuàng 壯 ( Zhuàngyǔ 壯語) is the language (or, more properly, a group of languages) spoken by the largest minority group in the People’s Republic of China, larger than Tibetan, Uyghur, and Mongol, with approximately 18 million speakers and semi-speakers, as projected from a population growth of 16.7% for minority people in China between 1990 and 2000. In the 1990 government census, the Zhuàng population was 15.5 million. The exact number of Zhuàng speakers is difficult to pinpoint. The Zhuàng population is mainly found in the Guǎngxī Zhuàng Autonomous Region, with some spil…
Date: 2017-03-02

Dǎi 傣 Language

(3,979 words)

Author(s): Yongxian LUO
1. Geographic Setting, Language, Speakers Dǎi 傣 is the language of the Dǎi ethnic group (Dǎizú 傣族) of Southwest China’s Yúnnán Province with over 1.1 million speakers, according to the 2000 census. They have official status as one of the 55 minority groups. The Dǎi language consists of several varieties such as Dǎi Lè 傣泐 (also Bǎnnà Dǎiyǔ 版納傣語, Tai Lue, Tai Lü) of Xīshuāngbǎnnà 西雙版納 (Sipsongpanna) and Dǎi Nà 傣那 (also Déhóng Dǎiyǔ 德宏傣語, Tai Nua, Chinese Shan) of Déhóng 德宏. The Dǎi group has quite a wide distribution across Yúnnán and is known by various names, such as Black Ta…
Date: 2017-03-02

Chinese and Thai

(2,931 words)

Author(s): Yongxian LUO
Thai (the official language of Thailand, also known as Siamese) has a long and complex history of linguistic interaction with Chinese, including several layers of borrowing of Chinese vocabulary resulting from various kinds of language contact and population movements. It is safe to say that Chinese and Thai have been in intense contact for many centuries. Ancestors of Chinese and Thai people have been interacting with each other since ancient times, well before what is recorded in the earliest …
Date: 2017-03-02